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The turkey and pies have been roasted and baked. Dinner’s over with. We finished off two and a half bottles of wine. The dishes are done. We just had our dessert while watching our annual viewing of Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation (for the 20th year in a row).

Thanksgiving… It used to be my favorite holiday of the whole year. No presents to worry about, just what you had to bring to mom’s for supper. The whole family would be there with all their quirks and occasional bickering, but we all loved each other. The cousins would all stretch out on the floor side by side (even into their 20’s) to watch the silly movie. For me it was THE perfect holiday.

Thanksgiving USED to be my favorite holiday. But I haven’t enjoyed it much for the past six years. Why? Because of Black Friday. Six years ago a Walmart employee in Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, New York was trampled to death by stupid, bloody idiots who just had to get their hands on all those damn Black Friday deals. I’m sure it never occurred to 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour’s family when he left for work that day that he’d end up dead — death by greed.

The damn senselessness of it made me sick. To this day I can’t sit down to Thanksgiving dinner without thinking of that poor guy’s family, and of what materialism — so rampant in this country — can reduce so many people to on Black Friday in particular. Sometimes I wonder if Black Friday is that much different from the gladiatorial games of Rome. If what my son says is true (and he’s worked retail for over ten years including Black Friday sales), it can deteriorate to the same kind of blood sport. He’s always hated working the day after Thanksgiving.

I know not everyone who shops on Black Friday goes berserk. Don’t mean to imply that. But I will never understand the mentality of someone who would hit someone over the head with a toaster (that’s the worst thing my son has seen), take things out of other people’s baskets, or actually physically climb over the top of someone to reach an item. How do THINGS get to be so important?

Every Thanksgiving now I wish I could let Jdimytai Damour’s family know that someone is thinking of them. I’m pretty sure it’s not their favorite holiday either.

If you’re going shopping tomorrow, please be safe and kind.

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